Australians losing thousands in super fees annually: ATO

Australians with multiple superannuation accounts could be paying thousands in unnecessary fees every year.

According to new figures released today by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), 45 per cent of working Australians have more than one super account.

The ATO is encouraging those with multiple accounts to consider consolidating their super into one preferred account. Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority (APRA) figures show the median figure for fees and charges paid by Australians for a low cost superannuation account is $532 per year.

“Consolidating your super into one preferred account is easier than ever and the New Year is the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start with your finances.” says ATO Assistant Commissioner of Superannuation, John Shepherd.

“It is not uncommon for people to open a new super account when they start a new job instead of taking their super fund with them when they change jobs,” Mr Shepherd said.

“People might also have super accounts which they have lost track of, for example, they may not have updated their contact details with their funds when they moved house — there are still $5.8 billion worth of accounts in this category,” he said.

Australians are encouraged to use the improved myGov online portal to check their super accounts and consolidate multiple accounts.

“myGov has made it much easier for people to combine their super accounts in one place,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Users can see all their accounts and consolidate them with a few clicks and having one account minimises fees and can help maximise retirement savings.

“We’ve recently seen a significant increase in Australians merging their super into one preferred account with more than 265,000 accounts with balances totalling $1.13 billion consolidated in the six months to December 2014. In one case, 17 accounts were consolidated.

“This is a rise of 400 per cent from the six months to December 2013 when 52,000 accounts worth more than $270 million were consolidated.

“If you’ve tried to combine your accounts before and found it difficult to do, give it another go. We have simplified the process since our online services were first launched and it’s now easier than ever to consolidate your super,” Mr Shepherd said.

Mr Shepherd said that before people consolidate, they should look at any insurance cover with each fund, as it will be cancelled once they close their account.

“People should also make sure their super fund has their tax file number. They'll pay less tax on their super and it will help us to make sure all their super accounts are displayed online,” he said.

Using myGov to consolidate your super:



This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

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  • Create a myGov account at Link then link the ATO to your account
  • If you already have a myGov account, just log in and click on the ATO
  • Go to the Super tab
  • You can do any of the following:
    • See details of all your super accounts, including any you have forgotten about
    • See details of any super the ATO is holding on your behalf
    • Transfer your super online
    • Combine multiple super accounts
  • If you tried consolidating your super in the past and gave up frustrated, consider trying again. Once you have linked the ATO to your myGov account, the transfer process usually takes a few minutes and transactions will generally be processed within three working days
  • There is no need to provide certified documents to super funds as in the past
  • For more information, go to or for lost super data,
Last modified: 06 Mar 2015QC 44023